Friday, April 20, 2012

Film Friday: Horrible Bosses (2011)

Lately, we’ve been talking about the dearth of good comedies in the modern era. It seems that most modern comedies are gross rather than funny, dull rather than clever, and generally generic. I had little hope for Horrible Bosses. Imagine my surprise to find a truly enjoyable film.

** spoiler alert **

Horrible Bosses is the story of three disgruntled employees, Nick (Jason Bateman), Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) and Dale (Charlie Day), who decide they want their bosses dead. Eventually, in an homage to Hitchcock’s Strangers on A Train, they decide that the only way to make this happen, and to not get caught, is if they kill each other’s bosses. But there’s a problem. . . they’re idiots. And soon the hunters become the hunted.

This film works for a variety of reasons, each of which is generally missing in the comedies of people like Seth Rogen and Judd Apatow. Specifically, you have well-drawn characters, a tight script, and clever social commentary.

Well-Drawn Characters: One of the first things you notice in Bosses is the great characters. What makes them stand out from other modern comedies is that they are all unique. For example, Nick, Kurt and Dale each have different personalities, see their jobs differently, and have different driving motivations (money, love, public good). Yet, they have formed an enduring friendship, which the actors sell through the way they interact, particularly the use of careful comedic timing to fire lines back and forth and thereby show they have known each other for years. Good luck finding that in an Apatow film, where the relationships are distant.

But the real treat is the bosses. Kevin Spacey plays Nick’s boss Dave Harken. He exploits his employees with promises he’ll never keep and with threats. He’s abusive and angry and jealous of anyone who gets near his wife. Spacey plays this character like he played the hateful Buddy Ackerman in Swimming With Sharks, only he adds an element of maniacal joy to his evil. This makes you enjoy hating him rather than just hating him. He also gives the character just enough of a God-complex to make his over-the-top actions entirely believable.

Colin Farrell plays Bobby Pellit, a drug-abusing, power-abusing, paranoid slimeball wannabe, who inherits a great company and decides to run it into the ground because he hated his father and because he’s paranoid that others look down on him. He’s the kind of guy who has a wall-sized portrait of himself doing martial arts. Like Spacey, Farrell makes the character believable by adding just enough hints of paranoia and self-doubt behind his eyes to let you know why this guy really would act this way.

Finally, you have Jennifer Aniston, as uber-cougar Dentist Julia Harris. What she does so perfectly here is to put on a hard-sell seduction of Dale, which would frankly work on any man, and then add a little touch in each scene to make it uncomfortable. It’s in those moments of discomfort that you see her insanity and where everything she does becomes believable. She is essentially completely out of control.

These characters are all funny and believable. They all have unique traits, which broadens the variety of jokes available. Also, the good guys are good, unlike in a Rogen film, and they aren’t unmotivated and pathetic, like in an Apatow film, so you genuinely cheer for them against the bad guys.

Tight Script: This leads us to the second point: the tight script. One of the biggest problems with modern comedies is sloppy scripts with characters doing things which make no sense and unrelated gags strewn throughout the film. None of that is true here. For one thing, there’s no filler. Everything any of the characters does is designed to show you some aspect of their personality which explains their future actions. And everything these characters do makes sense. For example, the heroes don’t just decide to kill their bosses because the script calls for it, they are pushed into it when their bosses attack things which are dear to them and make it clear they will continue to harm them in the future, AND their alternatives are taken away. Even then, they act reluctantly because they just aren’t killers.

Further, nothing in this film comes out of the blue because everything is foreshadowed. And the crazier the event, the greater the foreshadowing, with the craziest moments being foreshadowed at least twice. For example, toward the end, it becomes important that their On-Star-like system can hear what is being said in the car. Before this happens, however, you are shown twice how this works with conversations with the On-Star service rep. Thus, when this moment arrives, you don’t have any problems accepting it. Similarly, another character is distracted by an attractive woman at a critical moment. While this may seem difficult to believe under normal conditions, you’ve actually seen this character get similarly distracted twice before and you’ve been told how this woman fools around. Again, this means you never once doubt what happens. Compare this with Apatow and Rogen films where events occur seemingly randomly and without any warning.

Also unlike Rogen and Apatow, this script rarely sinks to sex jokes or gross-out jokes. And the few times it does, the jokes are understated, leaving much to the imagination, and it always has a purpose, i.e. it will become relevant before the film ends.

Clever Social Commentary: Finally, this film takes swipes at liberal sacred cows. For example, the three heroes want to find a hired killer, so they go to a bar in a black neighborhood. They don’t think of themselves as racist, but the racism is obvious in their assumption that murderers would most likely be found at a black bar. When the bartender reacts poorly to the suggestion that all black people must be criminals, they try to use standard liberal talking points about tolerance and oppression to talk their way out of it by suggesting they see “you people” as victims. To this, the bartender angrily retorts that he’s a small business man. The liberals are stumped. But their liberal stupidity has drawn the attention of Dean “Motherf*cker” Jones (Jamie Foxx), who exploits the prejudice they didn’t believe they had.

There are also jokes about Priuses versus SUVs, they make light of sexual harassment and anal sex in prisons, and there is a funny moment about how useless it is to force someone who is intent on killing you to keep their firearms in a locked case. . . it doesn’t prevent anything. These joke aim directly at the flaws inherent in these liberal ideas, flaws which politically correct liberals pretend don’t exist. Naturally, for doing this, writer Markowitz got hammered for being racist, homophobic and misogynistic. But the joke was ultimately on the critics, as the film broke records on its way to making $209 million worldwide.

This film has much going for it, especially compared to recent comedies. Is it the greatest comedy ever? Hardly. Is it better than Ghostbusters or Night At The Opera? Nope. But it shows that buddy comedies can still be funny, and it does that by giving us unique, likeable and hate-able characters, by giving us a solid script with zero waste or padding, by poking fun at things Hollywood normally won’t touch, and without making us watch characters trade bodily fluids for humor. Bravo.

75 comments:

ScottDS said...

I wish I had your talent and was able to write a review of a movie after seeing it only once! (Unless you saw it more than once, in which case I take it back.)

Other than The Hangover (the first one), this is the one comedy in recent years I've enjoyed the most. Hall Pass, Bad Teacher, Cedar Rapids, Friends with Benefits, No Strings Attached... a few moments here and there but for the most part, crap. (I kinda liked Easy A, though.) This film was a pleasant surprise so whenever anyone asks me if I've seen any good comedies lately, I be sure mention this one.

I absolutely loved Jamie Foxx's scenes and there's an exchange of dialogue in the third act that had me laugh out loud. I forget which character says what line but I think it's when they're walking up to Spacey's house:

"One of us should sit in his chair and slowly spin around when he walks in."
"Maybe we all should."
"Then it would look like the start of a musical number."

One of the writers of this film was John Francis Daley who's also an actor. He started on Freaks and Geeks (he was a geek) and is now on Bones.

One quick note about setups and payoffs: I agree with you but I think audiences are used to it. If they see someone learning a new skill in Act 1, I think people at this point assume it'll come in handy in Act 3. The trick, at least in a comedy, is to make the setup a funny gag in and of itself so it isn't so obvious. But every now and then, I'll accept something without a setup. In Apatow's Knocked Up, there's a small earthquake... it's not formally set up but the characters live in LA so it's not unnatural either.

T-Rav said...

The critics obviously got their revenge by killing the 9 am post. It seems odd they would take it out on this site, though.

tryanmax said...

That's a rather glowing review. Despite my affinity for Apatow films, I generally consider myself very picky when it comes to comedies. I'll have to give this one a whirl.

Also, the passage about no filler made me realize what it is about The Hangover films that makes them stand apart: they are entirely filler.

Tennessee Jed said...

Andrew - I was not at all surprised this was an enjoyable film. Any time liberal film critics "blast" a movie the way this one was, you can have a pretty good idea it isn't the typical leftist dribble. But you are so correct, really good comedies have been harder to come by in recent years.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, We have no explanation. Blogger is a strange creature. It happened once the other day here and every day this week at the film site.

AndrewPrice said...

By the way, everyone, the Film Site is 1 year old today!

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I recommend this one. Like I said, you won't be blown away like a Ghostbusters, but I laughed throughout, never felt insulted like they'd cut corners are treated me like I was stupid, and I really just enjoyed watching each of the characters.

The no-filler thing is a real credit to the writing. First of all, very little even feels like filler because there are no scenes which just seem attached to the plot. And secondly, you soon realize that everything that happens comes back to have meaning. If a guy grabs a toothbrush (for example), it may seem like just part of a joke e at that moment, but it will come up again. There is nothing in this film which doesn't get used. That makes the whole thing enjoyable and it makes you pay attention.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, This turned out to be a HUGE movie $209 million (one of the best of the year) on a budget of only $35 million. Yet, I heard almost nothing about it. I should have been suspicious. And while the critics generally liked it, the most liberal critics hated it and they mentioned things like "racist, homophobic, etc."

What's funny about the racist comment, for example, is that there is zero racism in this film. They are making fun of white-racism by having these guys say thing liberals normally say and having the minority characters get offended, look at them like they are crazy, and then exploit their "naive" worldviews.

In any event, this isn't a political film per se, it just goes where other films won't. Watching this, you never feel like they are trying to make a specific political point so much as just poke fun at these guys. It's very enjoyable.

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks, Scott! Yes, I only saw this once before writing the review. I like to see things a couple times, but just haven't had the time lately.

In terms of recent comedies, I can't think of anything I enjoyed more than this. And I can think of a lot which really left me just flat.

On the set ups, you are right. And the key to hiding that is to make the things appear natural rather than having them stand out. This film does that perfectly. Consider the On-Star guy, the first time he comes up, it seems like it's a one-time joke since they're trying to get him to direct them to a bad neighborhood. When he comes up the second time, you are actually surprised they went back to him. Then he plays a role in the chase and you assume that was the payoff... only then the real payoff comes.

Or look at the toothbrush -- the only gross out moment. When it happens, it seems like it's its own payoff. It's used as a way to tell you how much he hates his boss and you laugh your butt off at it because it seems like something this guy would do -- and it shows you how his mind is still small scale revenge rather than murder. But since you've laughed at it, you forget about it because you assume that was the whole joke. Then it reappears and you see how brilliantly it was set up. Or the shooting. You are told at least three times before the shooting how violent this guy is and that anyone who touches his wife will be hurt. So when it happens, it makes total sense to you. That's what this film does so well -- everything is foreshadowed very clearly, but it never feels like foreshadowing when it happens.

Maybe the lesson for good foreshadowing is to make sure the foreshadowed element appears to be part of a gag when it's introduced?

Tennessee Jed said...

congrats on birthday #1 :)

Joel Farnham said...

Andrew,

It sounds like a good movie. Do you know if it will come out on Netflix?

ScottDS said...

Andrew -

Maybe the lesson for good foreshadowing is to make sure the foreshadowed element appears to be part of a gag when it's introduced?

I'd say that's a pretty good way of doing things.

And every now and then, you run into a movie where you think something is being set up and it's not a set up at all - it's just a gag. But that's usually a case of bad screenwriting. I'm wracking my brain trying to think of an example and I know a friend and I were talking about this recently but my mind is coming up empty at the moment. :-)

T-Rav said...

Happy first B-day, C-rama films! The toilet training starts around this time, right? :-)

I haven't seen but a little of this, mainly the part where Foxx is explaining that by "going away for some time," he meant he committed some white-collar crime, not a murder. Heh. I do remember that Aniston was getting a lot of praise for this movie, as she finally played against type and seemed to be pretty good at it.

DUQ said...

Andrew, I saw this and laughed my butt off! This was a good time. What's funny is that while I was laughing at all the liberalism they were attacking, my liberal friend laughed too but didn't get the point of the joke. It's funny to watch someone laugh at their own stupidity and not even know it.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, Thanks! It's been a heck of a year. Even with only 4 posts a week, we're getting about 400 unique visitors a day, every day.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, I'm not sure. I saw it on HBO or Stars the other day. So it's probably not at Netflix yet, but it should show up soon.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I know exactly what you mean. Audiences have become so conditioned to it, that they get upset if they don't get the payoff from something they think will be needed later. That's actually a problem if you think about it, because it means you need to strip things out of your film/story which might upset people if they don't come up again.

It also makes it very hard to write something like a real twisty movie because people begin assembling the parts right away and expect they will be used... or complain if they aren't foreshadowed. So you end up having to give an obvious road map.

What they've done here is really provide an example of how to do foreshadowing (particularly in comedy) without having to tip your hand and without having to commit. For example, consider the toothbrush again. If that turned out to be a one-off, no one would have thought twice about it. So they foreshadow it, but then can use it or not as they see fit because no one spotted it as foreshadowing.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I'm not worried about toilet training the site... we use the free range method. If it's good enough for the dogs. . . ;)

Aniston was fantastic. She had this great combo of a real hard-press seduction which I think no man could resist plus always something a little too far, which would make you uncomfortable. It's very well done. (The best of the three though is probably Farrell who just plays this real messed up, paranoid loser. It's hilarious... "fire the fat people. They creep me out.")

You saw the later part with Foxx. He's hilarious. I had no idea where they were going with his character because he comes across as either a hardcore criminal, a psycho, or maybe even a pervert. And then you get to the reveal you are talking about later and it's just really funny because of what they've been relying on him for. I love how he got his name too! Again... unexpected.

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, I wouldn't be surprised if liberals don't see the humor because they are very good at not seeing themselves truthfully. My favorite of these jokes, by the way, was actually the very subtle gun case thing. It's one of those jokes where they don't even tell you it's a joke, it just happens -- he says he's going to kill them, he opens the drawer with the gun in it.... and has to take time to enter a code. LOL!

DUQ said...

Andrew, I saw that moment as pointing out that the psycho will always win because of those cases.

Since he's the psycho and the other guys aren't, they just stand there as he gets the gun and the case does nothing to prevent the shooting.

But if they had been the psychos, it would have taken too long to defend himself.

Thus, the joke is that this thing was meant to prevent shootings, but does nothing to stop the bad guy, though it would stop the good guys.

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, That's how I see it, as a statement about the ludicrousness. Plus, why would someone this crazy even have a gun case? It's silly, like if a car thief used blinkers when he's being chased by the cops.

Kelly said...

Andrew, I'd almost given up on modern comedies, especially buddy comedies. I'll check this out!

Doc Whoa said...

This was a really fun film! I love the bosses and while I didn't like the three guys much at first, they do grow on you pretty fast.

Doc Whoa said...

Oh, I should mention, happy B-day C-ramaFilms!

DUQ said...

Andrew, I hadn't thought about it that way, but you're right! LOL! What kind of nut would bother actually keeping his gun in a locked case?

AndrewPrice said...

Kelly, I recommend it. This was a fun and enjoyable film. I never felt insulted or bored and I laughed a lot throughout.

AndrewPrice said...

Doc, I wasn't sure I would like the three guys at first either. But they quickly move beyond the normal stereotypes and became very likable.

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, I think there are many levels to their liberal jokes. Notice, for example, that right after ending up with egg on their faces about the racism in the bar, they immediately forget what they learned and repeat their same faulty logic with Jamie Foxx. The message: liberals never learn.

Doc Whoa said...

Andrew, You are absolutely right about the conservative messages. It's funny though, that I never it as a conservative message. They just made fun of the kinds of stupid things these guys have done and it didn't seem like they were meaning anything political at all about it.

rlaWTX said...

I hadn't seen this one. I generally stay away for "guy comedies". But if it swims by, I'll take a look.

And HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, This one is worth a look because it's not that type of "guy comedy." This is not full of fart jokes, drinking jokes and sex jokes. It's a lot smarter than that. I think you'll enjoy it.

One year old... time flies!

AndrewPrice said...

Doc, That's very much how it felt -- they weren't being obvious about saying "liberals are stupid," they simply took some of the dumber things modern liberals advocate and showed them in a more realistic manner, i.e. didn't pretend there were no problems with them. The results were pretty funny. Also, that's what makes this effective social commentary, which doesn't always have to be political -- it just has to expose the things society pretends are/aren't true when they really aren't/are.

Ed said...

Fun film. I saw this in theaters and everyone was laughing. My favorite boss was also Farrell. He is so "out there." LOL!

Ed said...

One year? In some ways, it feels like the site has been around for decades! Congrats Andrew.

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, He really is. He stretches himself the furthest of any of them in this film and it's hilarious thinking this is the same guy from Phonebooth or The Recruit.


Yep, just one year, though I've been doing film stuff at the main site longer. Thanks!

ellenB said...

I enjoyed this very much and I think your review is right on. This felt like a much more creative film than you normally get in these kinds of situations.

AndrewPrice said...

Ellen, Glad to hear it. I also think this was more creative because they avoided all the normal stereotype characters you get with a story like this.

ScyFyterry said...

I saw the first half of this the other night and then got called away. I enjoyed what I saw and DVR'd the rest so I can see it. This was a fun movie, the kind of movie which just distracts you from everything. Well done!

AndrewPrice said...

Terry, I've had that happen to me as well a couple times. I love DVR for that very reason!

ScyFyterry said...

My DVR is packed with things I keep needing to watch but I never get around to, but I don't normally not finish a movie though.

ScyFyterry said...

Also, Happy B-day to Commentaramafilms!

AndrewPrice said...

Doc, My DVR is packed too, but mainly because I haven't had the time to watch much lately.

Anonymous said...

Andrew, How goes the book? Would you classify this as a conservative film?

DUQ said...

Shoot, that was me. I forgot to his the name thing.

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, It's been slow because I've been swamped with many projects. I don't know how I would classify this film honestly. In a "fair" world, I would say this film lacks an ideology because pokes fun all around. But compared to what you normally get, this is definitely a conservative film because it targets lot of liberal sacred cows. However, the ultimate "moral of the story" isn't really liberal or conservative, it's all over the place and even then, it doesn't seriously advocate anything. So I'd be hesitant to label it.

rlaWTX said...

IOW to paraphrase Freud, "sometime a decent movie is just a decent movie..."

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, Exactly. There are little political comments throughout -- like the business in the bar. But overall, there is no attempt made to promote an ideology and the film itself really can't be classified.

For example, no ideology would say killing your boss is a valid solution, nor would anyone say blackmailing is a good thing. But the film doesn't really "advocate" those things either, it just uses them as part of an over-the-top comedy which would never happen in real life, but it funny to see on film.

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: It sounds very funny and I'll NetFlix it. I always thought Jason Bateman was a bit of a lightweight until he did Arrested Development. I realized that he is top-notch on dry, clueless comedy. This movie sounds like it's well worth a look.

Have you had a chance to notice that your Film Friday announcement hasn't posted yet over at the main Commentarama site?

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, I just got back to my computer and saw that. Grrr. Blogger = Sucks.

Bateman is great in this. I always thought of him as a lightweight as well until Arrested Development and this role is very similar to that. He's the smartest, most-together of the three and he's basically the ring-master of the circus of idiocy.

I think you'll like it.

BevfromNYC said...

Happy Birthday, CommentaramaFilm!! Has it been a year already? Cool. I'm going to buy a bottle of champagne to celebrate for ya'll ("ya'll" = Texan for Andrew, Scott, TennJed, T-Rav, and Tryanmax*) Good job so far!

*If I left anyone out of that "ya'll", I do apologize.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, Thanks! Any excuse is a good excuse for champagne! It's amazing it's been a year already. Time really does fly.

By the way, I love using "ya'll." That is such an easy habit to get into and it works so well. I just don't like the "plural" form I kept running into in Virginia -- "all ya'll." LOL!

BevfromNYC said...

Andrew - that must be the plural form in Virginian. In Texan it would be "all o' ya'll" (o' = "of").

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, LOL! I've never heard that! The first time I heard "ya'll" had a plural was in Virginia. And they do it as: "all-yall" (like one word with two syllables).

ScottDS said...

Bev, I am quite familiar with "y'all." :-D (On that note, how do Texans refer to soft drinks? Do you say "soda" or do you use the generic "coke"? I have a map that illustrates this by county - seriously!)

Has it really been one year?! Wow. I honestly can't remember Andrew's first movie review for the main site (it might've been Rollerball) but my first comment was for one of his first reviews: Brazil.

In looking back over the old articles, the comment count has definitely increased, from the teens up to an average of more than twice that.

Now... bring on the book, the movie deal, the downfall, and the E! special. :-)

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, Most of the Coloradans I know say "coke." In fact, I recall for many years, you could order a "coke" and they would bring you a Coke or Pepsi because it was understood to be generic -- that's changed though because Coke and Pepsi made a big push to force restaurants to actually tell you which one you are getting.

When I was in upstate New York, where everything is messed up, they talked about "getting a soda pop," which struck me as rather 1950s. In Northern Virginia/DC it was whatever people knew from home, so you heard coke, pop, soda, cola, or the specific brand.

The first article on the original site was indeed Rollerball, a vastly under-read article! (It has 3 comments.)

Let's avoid the downfall and the E! Special, shall we? ;)

T-Rav said...

Bev, will I get a contact drunk from your champagne? (Thanks for including me, I feel very grateful.)

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Contact drunks are 1/2 price at Club Commentarama!

CrisD said...

Will watch the movie , Andrew!

Happy Anniversary!

PS. Scott, Tx for the map. Hilarious!

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks Cris! I think you'll like the movie!

The map is pretty funny. Scott's good at finding these oddball things.

T-Rav said...

When I came down to grad school, I made friends with a girl from Tennessee who insisted that I was a "half-breed Yankee" because I say soda instead of Coke. I was very incensed by this claim, and we eventually agreed that while I might not be perfect in the Southerner category, I was considerably better than the folks in Michigan who say "pop."

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, "half-breed Yankee"... that's pretty hardcore southern. What I thought was funny was getting to Virginia and hearing a great many of them refer to "the War of Northern Aggression."

Backthrow said...

Happy 1-year anniversary!

I'd heard of HORRIBLE BOSSES in passing, but your review prompted me to add it to my Netflix queue. Comedy can be quite subjective, so hopefully this one will tickle my funny bone... unlike, say, THE HANGOVER or BORAT, both which everybody in the world seemed to love, except me.

The last big-hit comedy that really delivered the goods, imo, was WEDDING CRASHERS, and to a somewhat lesser extent, TROPIC THUNDER; otherwise, the few recent comedies I've really liked were quirkier non-hits like BURN AFTER READING, YOU KILL ME (one of the very few times Tea Leoni has been well-used) and SCOTT PILGRIM VS THE WORLD.

Speaking of recommendations, I was reading some of the older articles, and took your advice and started watching the 'IS IT REAL?' series via Netflix over the last couple of days... great stuff!

Also, in the 'Favorite Comedies' discussion a couple of weeks ago, there was some talk of DR. STRANGELOVE and if there are any other good films in that satirical vein. One I can heartily recommend, if you've never seen it, is THE PRESIDENT'S ANALYST (1967, Paramount), starring James Coburn. While I'm pretty sure its writer-director would fall on the left side of the political spectrum, it targets pretty much everyone (unlike today's political comedies), and there's a lot in it for conservatives and libertarians to enjoy. It's also interesting in that it is both very much of its time (1967, LBJ, the Cold War, hippies, the Bell Telephone monopoly, etc), and also well ahead of its time. Oh, and the sliding doors in the underground tunnel leading to the White House in the film have the same STAR TREK: TOS sound effect! LOL!

The only hitch is that Netflix doesn't currently have it, and the DVD is out-of-print (but can still be had pretty cheaply, though I bet that won't be the case for very much longer). TCM has run it, but not for a couple of years, I think. Anyway, I'd kill to see a review of it here someday, pro or con.

AndrewPrice said...

Backthrow, I'll watch for it and see what I can do about a review. I seem to remember seeing part of it, but I'm not sure -- I may have it confused with the Flint movies.

You're right that humor is subjective, so it's hard to say what people will find funny. But Bosses is clever, has some great acting in it, and zigs when you expect it to zag. Those are good signs.

On the movies you mention, I've gotta say that I did not like Borat one bit. It thought it was trying to pass off cruelty as funny. I also didn't like The Hangover which struck me as every other buddy comedy and which used characters I simply didn't care about.

I enjoyed Tropic Thunder, but not as much as everyone else. I have really come to love Scott Pilgrim v. The World. That has grown on me more every time I've watched it.

ScottDS said...

I enjoyed The Hangover though it's one comedy where a movie theater audience helps. I watched it again when I was doing my NASA study and it wasn't nearly as funny the second time around. Or maybe that's because, having seen it already, the mystery element was gone.

The second film isn't funny at all.

I saw The President's Analyst a few years ago - what a weird movie! Needless to say, it doesn't exactly end where you expect it to based on how it begins. And yeah, they used the Star Trek door sound effect - they were both Paramount productions so I guess that made it easier.

Someone posted the film in its entirety on YouTube.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, Nice work on the link! Thanks!

To me, The Hangover was just another one of those films where you had to like the characters for it to be enjoyable. And as they do so often these days, they populated the film with people I wouldn't want to hang out with. So with little to offer besides the characters and me not liking the characters, that didn't leave much for me to like. And while I'm not saying I hated it or anything, I just found it dull and indistinguishable from every other recent comedy.

Backthrow said...

Yeah, BOSSES sounds promising, for the reasons you describe, and ditto on the other films.

I watched BORAT in full, years ago, but after 30 minutes of THE HANGOVER (except for a mildly funny bit where you find out the hen-pecked guy wasn't being micromanaged by his 'wife', but his girlfriend) I got the feeling it wasn't going to get any better, and bailed. Unlike most other movie genres, if a comedy is failing, there isn't an alternate avenue to derive entertainment from it.

TROPIC THUNDER had its moments, but yes, perhaps a bit overrated.

SCOTT PILGRIM grabbed me and left me in stitches on the first viewing, but I'd heard how it incorporated videogame iconography and other things, so it wasn't as jarring to me as it might've been. It also helped that I saw Edgar Wright's SPACED tv series prior, which did some of the same, at times.

Oh, and if THE PRESIDENT'S ANALYST isn't accessible by other means, I just discovered someone uploaded it on YouTube, as one complete program, rather than in parts:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0OEMSFx8pls&feature=related

Backthrow said...

Whoops, Scott beat me to it! LOL

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I would rather what crappy but truly original than generic assembled-film.

AndrewPrice said...

Backthrow, I thoroughly enjoyed Bosses. It's not great or epic, but I enjoyed it and laughed a lot -- and I never once felt like I was wasting my time watching it.... something I experience a lot these days.

I liked Tropic Thunder a good deal and still quote a few of its line. I just didn't think it ranked as one of the greatest, which a lot of people seem to think. Some of it is really hilarious however, like Tom Cruise.

I came into Scott Pilgrim all wrong. I expected something like Kick-Ass and it didn't work with that expectation at all. But upon re-watching it, I've really been won over.

T-Rav said...

I can't speak for some of the others, but I loathed Burn After Reading. I don't know what that was supposed to be, but it was hardly a comedy.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I had the same reaction. I normally like the Coen brother's stuff, but "loathed" is how I felt about that one.

Individualist said...

Andrew

**SPOILER**
What I did like was JAmie Foxx's character telling them he be there "murder consutant" and when they find out he did ten years for video piracy and get angry he says "What you think all you have to do to find someone to kill people is to pay a black guy a lot of money.

You are right about them skewering this sacred cow. I was not aware they compalined about the movie being racist. I guess because the had Gregaory from On star direct them to a bar nearest to where the most car jhackings occured in the ciy. But in truth it is the opposite. The movie made fun of the stereotype and truly showed it up for the nonsense that it is.

AndrewPrice said...

Indi, The whole bit with him is funny for that very reason -- not because it is racist, but because these guys who go out of their way to show they aren't racist are in fact being racist throughout. And even after the bartender points this out, they still go right back to the way they were and they make the same mistake with Foxx.

tryanmax said...

I grabbed this from the redbox over the weekend. Very funny! It also revived some dormant Jennifer Aniston fantasies, LOL!

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I'm glad to hear you liked it! I was really surprised I enjoyed this so much, as I expected nothing really.

And yeah, this film could easily give someone Jennifer Aniston fantasies! LOL!

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